African art > African mask > Douala Mask
Douala Nyatti Mask (N° 18862)
African mask board, very graphic, surmounted by horns in arch. It is a stylized, narrow, bovid (nyatti) face, flanked by two wings indicating ears. The piece is embellished with geometric motifs in contrasting colors. A metal blade showing the tongue extends the whole. Abraded patina.
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Sculpted by sculptors from Douala in the Bay of Cameroon, this type of zoomorphic mask was produced for the initiates of the ekongolo society, still active, to honor the ancestors during ritual ceremonies, and were worn like a helmet. According to the explorer Zintgraff, this mask was also responsible for hunting the uninitiated, which was also the role of the Oku masks of the Grassland.
The Douala, living at the mouth of the river Wuri, organized regattas where one could admire, on the bows of the dugout canoes, carved works, painted in bright colors, representing reptiles and animals.
Ref : "Arts of Africa and Oceania" Coll. Barber Mueller ed. Culturespaces
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